The Future of TV: Syncing Room Lighting With Your Favorite Show

December 24, 2014

When the new television series based on the 1995 film “12 Monkeys” premiers on the Syfy channel January 16th, the audience will notice some key differences from the film. In addition to the screen being smaller, the story being drawn out over a season or seasons, and neither Brad Pitt nor Bruce Willis being involved, viewers will have the option of syncing their lights to the action on screen.

That’s because Syfy has teamed up with Philips Hue light bulbs to create lighting schemes that correspond to the show. In order to enjoy light tracks, viewers will need to download the Syfy Sync app on their Apple iPhone or iPad. The app serves up videos, games, polls and other “second screen” features for the show you’re watching, and the latest update adds control of your Hue lighting, too. In fact, viewers with the Philips Hue smart bulbs and the app will see their lights dim, brighten, or change color at specific times. This according to Tech Digest.

The new Syfy series expands on the stylish 1995 time-twisting movie directed by Terry Gilliam, which was, in turn, based on Chris Marker’s 1962 short film “La Jetée.” “X-Men” actor Aaron Stanford steps into the lead role as time traveller James Cole; Canadian actress Emily Hampshire takes on Pitt’s role as the disturbed inmate who helps Cole track down the source of a deadly virus; and Amanda Schull, last seen in “Suits”, takes over from Madeleine Stowe as the doctor who gets entangled with Cole. Distinctive “Manhunter” villain Tom Noonan is also aboard as a — what else — mysterious killer.

Although “12 Monkeys” is the first series to feature the distinctive option, other shows that work with Hue will have a light bulb icon in the future. In the meantime, if a new Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley home is in your future, please contact me at 415.516.3939, or via email at

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